Reading outside your Lexile range

"If a book is outside her Lexile range, should I not let her read it?"

Never take a book out of a child's hand because of its Lexile measure. A Lexile measure can help you make informed choices about book and reading experiences.

A student's Lexile range spans from 100L below to 50L above his or her Lexile measure. But a reader doesn't always have to stay in this Lexile range. Here are some instructional applications for using higher- or lower-level books.

Reading books above your Lexile range

  • Don't sacrifice content for readability's sake. Instead, use Lexile measures to gauge the comprehension gap and bridge that gap with instruction, such as background teaching or discussion.
  • Higher-level books provide a great opportunity for reading growth. If a student is highly motivated to read a particular book, he or she will attempt to read that book regardless of its Lexile level. Books above a reader's Lexile level can help to stimulate growth when its topic is of extreme interest to the reader.
  • Build an individualized reading or enrichment plan with your advanced and enthusiastic readers using Lexile measures. High-achieving students often will take ownership of their Lexile measure and seek out harder books to challenge themselves.
  • Lexile measures can help parents know that their child might need help through a hard but interesting or required book.
  • Read more about helping advanced readers.

Reading books below your Lexile range

  • Struggling and reluctant readers can use Lexile measures to find easier books to practice with on topics they're interested in or required to read about.
  • Combine Lexile range and developmental level to find easier books that are still age-appropriate.
  • Connect struggling readers with books with the HL Lexile code (high-interest/low-readability).
  • If a required book or text is too hard, Lexile measures can help you find other books or texts on the same subject at a lower Lexile level.
  • When factors make a particular reading situation more challenging, threatening or unfamiliar, lower-level text can be a safety net for your students.
  • Read more about helping struggling and reluctant readers.